Meade LX850 mount with StarLock: The new Meade LX850 high-strength aluminium and stainless steel equatorial mount provides a precision tracking platform which is also suitable for larger telescopes. This accuracy is due to the large 147mm worm wheels and 17mm worm gears. The GPS supported AutoStar II computer control system can position the telescope on any of a large database of 144,000 astronomical objects.
Starlock is a camera and control system that performs three important functions
- Periodic error correction (PEC)
- precise GoTo positioning
- auto-guiding for astrophotography with an accuracy of less than one arcsecond
- The two Starlock cameras with their different optics function perfectly together. The wide-field camera provides a rough positioning. The near-field camera can then position objects with an accuracy of up to one arcminute.
- Alignment also takes place via these two cameras. They bring the necessary alignment stars to the very centre of the field of view, as the basis for optimal GoTo.
- StarLock works using permanent and automatic auto-guiding for maximum tracking accuracy. As soon as the telescope returns to tracking mode after a slew (for example, after positioning an astronomical object), the near-field camera automatically searches for a suitable guide star down to a minimum brightness of 11 magnitude. This is then tracked as until the telescope is moved again.
- The Drift Alignment Assistant makes an optimal polar alignment possible when operating Starlock on an equatorial mount - the telescope slews to a matching star. A 30-second long exposure using the wide-field camera is used to calculate the exact deviation of the telescope from the true celestial pole. The mount then uses previously calculated true position. With the help of the fine adjustment on the polar wedge, the telescope can now be exactly aligned to this point - alignment of the azimuth axis is now perfect!
- Data for StarLock cameras
- wide-field camera - lens diameter is 25mm, focal length is 26mm f/1.04, 1/2 CMOS sensor, field of view is 14.72°x11.78°
- near-field camera - lens diameter is 80mm, focal length is 400mm f/5, 1/2 CMOS sensor, field of view id 57.2 'x 45.8'
- weight 2.7kg
Note: The cameras are only for alignment and control of the telescope. You cannot read out their images. Doing astrophotography requires a separate camera.